Archive for November, 2009

Trip to Golden CO

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

We had a short trip to Golden CO to visit w/#2 son Grant and his family. This is our third trip by plane in a year, 2 to Denver and 1 to Orlando, and every flight going and coming has been full or nearly full. Not sure how the airlines are losing so much $ if my flying experience is the norm? I know one thing, they certainly are making use of all available space on Southwest’s planes. Not a lot of room for an over 6 foot, 210 lb guy like me. After reading the NTSB report of the crash of last winter’s Continental Commuter flight into Buffalo and the (to me) astonishing revelation of the lack of experience and low pay of the pilots flying these short haul connector flights for these contract commuter airlines. I now prefer to fly someone like Southwest who only uses their own planes and pilots, expecting that they are at least captained by someone with experience and are being fairly compensated for their experience.

Welcome to Golden. Early Sat AM walk to coffee shop.

Welcome to Golden Colorado. Early Sat AM walk to the coffee shop.

#2 son Grant and Tani at the Windy Saddle Coffee Shop

#2 son Grant and Tani at the Windy Saddle Coffee Shop

son Eric

son Eric

Katia and Milo

Katia and Milo

our B&B in Golden. A real nice and convenient place to stay is visiting Golden

Our B&B in Golden. A real nice and convenient place to stay while visiting Golden CO.

on campus of School of Mines w/Table Mesa in background.

Campus of Colorado School of Mines w/Table Mesa in background.

Dinner at Tony Rigatoni's, plus other great places to eat in Golden - The Table Mountail Inn, Bridge Water Grill and "D" Deli

Dinner at Tony Rigatoni's, plus other great places to eat in Golden - The Table Mountain Inn, Bridge Water Grill and "D" Deli.

Monday, last morning on the way to the Windy Saddle Coffee Shop.

Monday, last morning on the way to the coffee shop.

Last morning in Colorado at the WIndy Saddle.

Last morning in Colorado at the Windy Saddle.

Doing?

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Since we wrapped our flying season at the end of October, I’ve been having fun painting the house. With the mild weather we had early in November, I’ve gotten more done than I had expected before winter sets-in. I took the small balloon over to Stumpf Balloons in Weston VT for it’s annual inspection on Friday the 6th. Hot air balloons are considered an aircraft by the FAA and that designation requires us to have our balloons inspected every year by an FAA certified repairman. The inspections are very detailed and documented according to FAA and the balloon manufacturer’s requirements. It’s too bad that I didn’t bring my camera to document the annual inspection work that Paul does to post on the blog. It would have been interesting to show. Oh well, next time. We took a family trip to Golden CO to visit w/#2 son Grant and his family the 2nd week of the month. I’ll post up some pics of Golden in a later blog.

Recap of 2009 Hot Air Balloon Ride Flying Season

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

The 2009 flying season will go down as the worst for hot air balloon flying weather in my 33 years of flying passengers around here. The early spring flying season started dry with about average ride demand. But by Memorial Weekend, the weather turned wetter and stayed that way for most of the flying season, other than for a short dry period very late in August through the 1st couple of weeks in September.  By the time we got around to the end of October, the weather turned dryer again and has stayed that way into the middle of November. My apologies to the folks who were trying to schedule flights at the end of October. We grew reluctant to attempt flights, even tho select days were flyable, due to the extremely wet ground conditions out in the flight area. Through much of October, we were getting a series of very heavy rain systems pass through and by the time the weather finally dried out late in the month, the damage was done. With short days and a low sun angle, our saturated flying area was not able to recover from all the rain. So, now it’s time to get ready for the long winter season and make plans for our 2010 hot air balloon flights, which will begin again when winter finally turns to spring come April or May.